When I first started my company, I did everything I could to drum up custom business. Business cards, stationery, wedding invites—you name it I was up for it. And my prices were low (seriously, if you were a custom client of mine a year or two ago, you got a GREAT deal!), so low that I think I was losing money once I figured in how much time I was spending on each project—not to mention the ones that never came to fruition! I would kill myself trying to make an impossibly short timeline, include tons of freebies…. It was a completely unsustainable business. A handful of jobs came and went and finally I wised up: it simply wasn’t worth the time and stress.
Over the past year or two, I’ve done a piece here or there, but generally I turned down more work than I took on. However, I recently had the pleasure of designing and printing business cards for a local tutor and to my surprise when I finished the project I felt really good about the whole experience. The finished product is beautiful of course, but I think the best part was that after all was said and done, I didn’t feel burnt out or defeated, but inspired and ready for more! Not to mention, my skills have improved over the last couple years, so the process of creating the cards went much smoother from beginning to end.
I finally learned to value my own work. I know I am good at what I do and my time and talent are worth charging a fair price for. The stress and inconvenience were all internal, and once I let that go, I was able to enjoy the work again. I’m excited to revive and revamp this aspect of my business, you can check out the details for business cards here and watch for more to come! I hope this post reminds you to let go of the internal pressure you put on yourself and take pleasure in whatever you’re working on.